It’s early Monday morning. The start of another brand-new week. I find myself thinking about how well I’ll cope with my chronic illnesses this week.
Will I allow myself to become overly-frustrated with their inevitable impact? If I do, I surely magnify their ultimate impact. This is one of the most difficult aspects of adjusting to living with chronic illness.
It’s an ongoing challenge to respond appropriately to symptoms that perpetually disrupt your life. Of course, it’s not possible to completely ignore such symptoms. They have multiple consequences, on a daily basis.
Nevertheless, a new week is about to unfold. I do, after all, retain control over how I will choose to respond to my symptoms. I’m reminded of times, during the previous week, when I know that I could have responded more appropriately to the impact of my medical problems. I allowed myself to become overly upset about several of my symptoms. Guess what? This didn’t eradicate their influence! What it did do, however, was amplify the overall impact of those very symptoms.
Yes, I’ve obtained my doctorate in clinical health psychology. My specialization was even facilitating psychosocial adjustment to chronic illness. You’d think I’d have this coping thing down pat, with my advanced education and extensive patient experience. I honestly don’t.
At times, I still fail miserably. However, I try to be gentle, but firm, with myself. This is a brand-new week. I have new opportunities to cope more effectively than I did this previous week.